ATLANTA GUITAR GUILD PRESENTS: "Matthew Cochran" and  "The Time Scratch"

ATLANTA GUITAR GUILD PRESENTS: "Matthew Cochran" and "The Time Scratch"

Matt Cochran’s new EP American Unoriginal is exactly what happens when a conservatory-trained guitarist obsessed with the Great American Songbook decides to make a bluegrass record.

But this isn’t crossover, it’s synthesis. Cochran borrows from sources as disparate as the American landscape he loves: folk songs to Vaudeville, Cole Porter to Copland, murder ballads to carnival music. The result is at one time both familiar and totally unique.

"My little piece of the American experience began in rural Pennsylvania, Amish country, where the favored décor of dining establishments is taxidermy. It was there I learned Appalachian ballads like “Pretty Polly” from my Kentuckian Maw, and on Sunday mornings belted out “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” with Brethren in Christ dairy farmers.

"I was ten years old, clutching a bag of lawn fertilizer at Ace Hardware when I first heard Mark Knopfler’s guitar playing. “Walk of Life” was a surprise hit for the Dire Straits that year. It was originally a B-side for “So Far Away” but the tune gained stream on its own merits and wound up on heavy rotation at Top 40 stations like Wink 106.1 out of Corning, Elmira. I cleaned gutters to earn money for the single and dug post holes to purchase the LP.
My parents bought me a massive Fender dreadnaught for my birthday. It was a tank with strings that hovered about a foot off the fingerboard and brutalized my fingers as I endeavored to master the F barre.

"One Thanksgiving, a family friend who recently gave his life to Christ brought over three boxes filled with records that he claimed contributed to his moral shortcomings. He was apparently not concerned about the salvation of his impressionable beneficiary, an oversight for which I will always be grateful. After dinner, I hauled one of the boxes into the dining room where the record player was housed. Standing among the ravaged carcass of what was once a turkey, I heard Sgt. Pepper, Highway 61, and Electric Ladyland for the first time. It was a tryptophan-laced psychedelic bliss-out, after which the F barre never stood a chance.

"It took me a couple weeks to get to the bottom of the third box, where I found an album that featured the profile of a man who vaguely resembled Han Solo. The record was called Parkening Plays Bach and, despite the Spartan album design, I figured it deserved a whirl or two on the turntable. It was and still is a magical recording. By the final bars of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” I was determined to become a concert classical guitarist.

"Twenty years, three degrees, and a mountain of student debt later, I was more-or-less able to play “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” to my satisfaction. Near the end of my last degree I formed a group with some guys who could also play the hell out of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”. We called ourselves the Tantalus Quartet, and we made the rounds at guitar festivals and concert halls in the U.S. and Europe.

"Over time we built something vaguely resembling a performance career shilling Bach and Brahms to folks who love Bach and Brahms. It was nice. But one day I looked up and realized that my childhood in rural Pennsylvania with “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” and “Pretty Polly” were more than just warm memories, they were an integral part of that weird primordial ooze that artists like to call their identity. There they were: Polly and Jesus, waiting in the wings, threatening to kick some ass unless I started paying attention to them.

"So I did. I screwed up some guts, wrote some songs and I’ve been singing them to anyone that’ll listen ever since. Sometimes it’s a concert series, sometimes it’s a bar. On the days I feel like playing Bach, I play Bach. Other days it’s Paul Westerburg. Paul hasn’t complained and Bach’s not much of a talker, so I figure I’m in the clear."


“The Time Scratch” is a guitar duet – Erik Sootes and Yuri Bakhtin – performing the original music by Erik Sootes.

Erik Sootes is a professional composer and guitarist, who writes and performs music in a variety of styles: Classical, Flamenco, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Fusion, Folk, Blues, etc., as well as combination of styles using different types of guitar. He has his own signature style and his compositions are an eclectic mix.

A music scholar, professional composer and performer Erik Sootes comes from a multiethnic background. He always experiments with variety of styles, looking for a new sound and ways to show what guitar is capable of.
Erik started his music career in the late 70's. He studied, taught music and performed for a variety of audiences in Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. He performed solo concerts and as part of a band.
When he immigrated to the U.S. in 1997, he started his life and music career from scratch. Surviving in a new environment he beat the odds and managed to have solo concert tours on the East and the West Coasts, as well as the Nation-wide tour, and signed a contract with MTV.
Erik has performed on such legendary stages as CB's Gallery in New York City and Celebrity Center International in Hollywood, CA. He has been invited to give radio interviews in New York and Massachusetts, including a two-hour show dedicated entirely to his works. His music in the album "Spanish Image" was selected for "All Songs Considered" on National Public Radio-NPR.
In a short time in the U.S., Erik Sootes earned a name of a One-Man-Orchestra, reaching with his masterful performances audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Erik has been participating in various music festivals and events and is continuing to give solo concerts all over the country.

Yuri Bakhtin has been playing music for 25 years since his childhood in Russia. His original background was classical guitar which helped him a lot when he started writing and performing songs with unusual and rich guitar accompaniment. These Russian songs got him several prizes at songwriters festivals in Moscow. Pursuing a career in Academia, he moved to North America, changed several places in US and Canada, settled in Atlanta, and recently joined Erik Sootes in promoting his new release "Gentle touch".

$12.00 - $48.00

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ATLANTA GUITAR GUILD PRESENTS: "Matthew Cochran" and "The Time Scratch"

Sunday, July 21 · Doors 2:30 PM / Show 3:00 PM at Steve's Live Music